Although there will be no high school sports sanctioned by the Utah High School Activities Association this spring, tournaments for female golfers and a few male golfers will be played later this month.
The Utah Section PGA, which has helped run the state girls golf tournaments for the past decade, will hold an individual championship with each high school able to invite six golfers to compete. No team competition will be held.
The first event will be played on May 27 at Meadowbrook Golf Course in Salt Lake County Fox Hollow Golf Course for girls that play at 6A and 5A schools. On June 3 June 4, a tournament for 4A, 3A and 2A girls as well as 1A boys will be played, also at Meadowbrook at Rose Park Golf Course (boys prep golf for classes 2A through 6A are held in the fall).
“We’re sensitive to all the seniors who didn’t get to play and feel bad they had to miss out on this season,” said Utah Section PGA executive director Devin Dehlin. “We look forward to being able to give the kids something to look forward to.”
The entry fee is $40 per player with entries taken at utahpga.com. Golf coaches should send their list of players to firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries will close May 15 at 11 a.m.
Dehlin said the safety of the players, staff and everyone involved in the events will be a priority and tournament officials will be following CDC guidelines. They also will be following guidelines current at most golf courses with no rakes in bunkers, flagsticks left in and no scoreboard or scoring area. No coaches or caddies will be allowed and a decision on whether to allow spectators will be made closer to the dates of the tournaments.
The Utah Section PGA will also name 10-player all-state teams from each classification after the meets.
He was sitting in the corner of the viewing room by himself.
I looked at him, not catching his eye, and turned away thinking
that I had met him before, somewhere. He looked familiar but I couldn’t place a
name with his face. As much as I have run around in Utah’s golf circles it
bothered me that I could not name him.
I moved along the viewing line at Billy Casper’s funeral and
took a few more glances at him, again without catching his eye.
I paid my respects to Billy, his wife Shirley and the family
then turned to find a seat in the chapel.
With one last look, he was looking right back at me. Not wanting
to be disrespectful of someone I was sure I knew I walked over, shook his hand
and introduced myself.
He smiled and said, “I’m Doug Sanders.”
I knew just enough of the former PGA Tour member to recognize
his face but not enough to remember why.
For the next few minutes I sat with the “Peacock of the
Fairways” as he told me a few stories of playing with Billy during their PGA
Tour heyday. With a tear on his cheek he told me how they caravanned from stop
to stop and that Billy would come to Houston and play his tournament. He missed
the camaraderie of those days on tour.
Bob Casper said Sanders was known for going out of his way to be
nice. “My mother said it meant a lot to her and our family that Doug attended
the funeral.” He had driven to Utah from Texas to be there that day. Just for
Billy. “That was really special to us,” Casper said.
From head to toe you could not miss Doug Sanders. With 20 PGA
Tour wins he is best known for his neon-bright colorful apparel and for missing
a three-foot putt to win the 1970 Open Championship at St. Andrews. Sanders
lost the following 18-hole playoff to Jack Nicklaus by one-stroke, 73 to 72. It
was the second of three Nicklaus wins at the Open and the fourth of four
runner-up finishes Sanders had in major tournaments.
“I remember thinking how bizarre it was that he would show up at
an LDS church in Utah County,” says sports anchor Wesley Ruff. “I think
most people think of him as the guy who jabbed that little putt at the Open at
St. Andrews and ended up in a playoff with Nicklaus, which he lost. But he won
20 times on the Tour. That’s a lot! What he did in the majors in 1966 is pretty
amazing. Top 10 in all four that year! T2 at the British, T4 at the Masters, T6
at the PGA Championship, and T8 at the U.S. Open. And he won three times that
year, including a playoff win over Arnold Palmer at the Bob Hope Desert
Former Utahn Laury Livsey, the PGA Tour’s senior director of
international communications provides the following history of Sander’s playing
days in Utah:
“The two PGA Tour events Sanders played in Utah were the 1958
and1960 Utah Opens, both at the Salt Lake Country Club. He was T15 in 1958,
fifth in 1960. Pretty respectable. In 1960, he held the 54-hole lead
(64-67-64), two shots ahead of Bill Collins. He shot a final-round 71 to (Utah
Golf Hall of Famer) Billy Johnston’s
63 and finished four shots behind Johnston (a prince of a guy who will deserve
a long obituary and all the accolades despite not having near the career
Sanders had). It went Johnston, Art Wall Jr, Collins and Ken Venturi (T3) and
Sanders in fifth. A third-round 73 derailed his chances in 1958. As for his PGA
Tour Champions career, he played once at Park Meadows, in 1999, when he was
well past his prime. He finished 77th.”
Of the1960 Utah Open Deseret News sports writer George
Ferguson reported, “And so it was that despite multi-sensational rounds, which
entertained the huge galleries no end, the sub-par scorched course eventually
put the whammy on all previous leaders – Jay Herbert, Bill Collins, Doug
Sanders and Dow Finsterwald.
“Sanders, who carried a two stroke lead into Monday’s finale,
found his nemesis lurking in the island of scrub oak which protects No. 4 green
and prompts a play it safe or gamble decision.
“Doug gambled. And before he had scrambled out of the oak, onto
the bordering rough, in and out of a sand trap and into the cup, he had a bogey
and had lost the lead – at that particular point to Finsterwald and Collins.
“That seemed to set a scrambling pattern for Doug. The young man
with the brief backswing who shared the lead the first day and led the third
was through. He came in with a 71, a 266 total, good for fifth and
$1,100.” (Deseret News September 13,
Of local interest, 2020 Utah Golf Hall of Fame inductee Lou
North was the low amateur of the 1960 Utah Open at T25 with professional Dick
Kramer. George Schneiter Sr. beat his nephew Ernie Schneiter Jr. for 28th place
and a $90 payday.
My only previous encounter with the Sanders persona happened in
the Las Vegas National clubhouse where, as a former winner of the 1959 Sahara
Pro Am, then an unofficial PGA Tour event and predecessor to the PGA Tour’s
Sahara Invitational, Sander’s complete pink outfit; shirt, sweater, belt, pant,
socks and shoes is enshrined in the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame.
Though his life on tour was full of documented shenanigans off
the course, my memory of Sanders from our brief chat in Billy Casper’s viewing
room is of a soft spoken man with a vivid memory of meaningful times with
famous friends, playing a game that defined his life and lifestyle.
Sanders, at 86-years old, passed away earlier this week, on
Easter Sunday, in Houston, Texas.
Randy Dodson is the publisher of Fairways magazine and a frequent contributor to the Utah PGA News page.
The PGA of America has launched a newly reimagined PGA.com
to connect consumers with PGA Professionals. The redesigned site, which is now
managed in-house by the PGA, focuses on the journey a golfer takes to begin or
improve his or her game, no matter their skill level.
PGA.com and its affiliated championship sites will also
continue to provide coverage of prominent events, such as the PGA Championship,
Ryder Cup, KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and KitchenAid Senior PGA
Championship. However, an important emphasis of PGA.com will be on the
opportunities enabled by enhancing the coach-consumer relationship.
“PGA.com is designed to bring to life the special
relationship between PGA Professionals and consumers through coaching and other
consumer-focused services, with a vision that ‘your best golf is ahead of
you,’” said PGA Interactive General Manager Rob Smith. “There are so many ways
in which a journey in golf can positively impact your life. Our job is to
identify the best ways to connect with PGA Professionals across all aspects of
the game, beginning with coaching.”
An important shift in the new PGA.com site will be speaking
through the voice of the PGA Professional. On the site, PGA Professionals will
be featured prominently and given the opportunity to provide exclusive content
to engage consumers, including first-person feature articles, videos and advice
to help golfers with various aspects of the game and the golf lifestyle.
In the second phase of the launch, scheduled for later this
year, consumers will be able to easily search for PGA Professionals who have
completed both their American Development Model for Golf (ADM) training
available on PGA.Coach and a detailed PGA.com coach profile. ADM utilizes
long-term athlete development and quality coaching concepts to promote
sustained physical activity, athlete safety and age-appropriate growth. PGA.com
is designed to help these coaches establish a relationship with new golfers and
then build upon that connection, to give consumers the resources they need to
achieve their goals.
“The PGA of America is committed to the future of coaching
through the American Development Model for Golf,” said PGA President Suzy
Whaley. “As we look to transition the industry from a transaction against a
lesson to the lifetime value in a coaching relationship, PGA.com is being
architected to facilitate the digital evolution of coaching.”
Richfield High School’s girls’ golf Coach Todd Mullen has been selected as the 2018-19 Utah Girls Golf Coach of the Year by the National Federation of High School Coaches Association, Jan. 3. Mullen was specifically nominated by the Utah High School’s Activities Association as the most deserving recipient for the honor.
This year’s honorees were selected based upon their coaching performance in the 2018-19 school year, lifetime community involvement, school involvement and philosophy of coaching. The NFHS relies on its member state associations to recognize those who are leading their sport, shaping their athletes and contributing to their community, according to Dr. Karissa L. Neihoff, executive director of the NFHS.
“It is our pleasure to recognize leaders and role models at the interscholastic level,” Neihoff said. “And, it is to the credit of athletic directors like Richard Barton that coaches like Todd are able to contribute in such a positive way to the youth of our country and communities.”
Todd Mullen is the head golf professional at Cove View Golf Course in Richfield, Utah, and won the 2018 Utah Section PGA Youth Player Development Leader Award for his continued efforts in sharing the game to the youth in the Richfield community.
All Craig Norman ever wanted to be was a golf professional, make
the game his life. When he got his wish, it was all he dreamed it would
be. Going to his job as head golf professional at Hobble Creek Golf
Course is a step towards heaven for the Provo native.
Norman was named the 2019 Professional of the Year by his peers
in the Utah Section of the PGA of America in October, an honor that left him
stunned and speechless, humbled to his core. “I had no idea and I may not
be deserving of that great honor,” he said.
“If you look at the names on that list over the years, that is a
lot to live up to. I am deeply honored and cannot believe it, no, not at all.”
Humility aside, Norman has etched a profile in Utah as a
consummate pro, uniquely gifted to strike the right balance between manager of
manicured acres and a facilitator of fun with clubs, balls, grass, and
cups. It takes an artist to put it altogether.
Norman, the nephew of one of Utah’s longest-tenured golf
professionals, the retired Sonny Braun, replaced Braun a few years ago after
being his assistant since 1993. Before that, he was an assistant at Riverside
Country Club in Provo from 1986-1993.
Norman’s work in 2019 is highlighted by overseeing the return of one of the state’s favorite public courses after issues with pump and water rights reduced irrigation by 30 percent for the 2018 season. He has increased corporate tournament play to 40-plus events a year, organized an efficient, hardworking staff, increased participation in the men’s, women’s and junior associations tied to the course and traveled the state as a volunteer rules official. He was the official starter at the Siegfried and Jensen Utah Open at Riverside Country Club, just 11 days after undergoing back surgery.
A friendly, upbeat, accommodating face in Utah golf, his
dedication and love for the game is evident in everything he does. It is a
natural offshoot of his upbringing by parents who made golf their lifetime
hobby and a sister, Terry Norman Hansen, one of the most prolific women’s
amateur players in state history. Craig, who played at Provo High School,
played collegiately at Utah State University.
“I wish my mom and dad were here to see this,” said Craig who
lost his father in 2007 and his mother, a prolific association winner at East
Bay and old Timpanogos Golf Courses, in 2017.
Norman has always been enchanted by the draw of golf. “It’s
the most unfair game you play because it’s a chase of the unattainable yet
attraction of the belief that you can master it. You can hit it perfectly, but if you can’t
make a 3-footer, it’s all for naught.”
The Utah Section PGA is excited to announce the 2019 Award Winners. We had so many incredible nominees this year. It is great to know that we have so many PGA Professionals going above and beyond at their facilities and their efforts within Utah golf.
A special thank you to the committee for the time you put into the detailed process of selecting this year’s class. And thanks to all of you for your efforts in growing the game in Utah.
Congratulations to all of our deserving winners! We will be honoring them at the Annual Awards Banquet on February 11, 2020 at Bloomington Country Club in St. George, UT.
Professional of the Year: Craig Norman, Hobble Creek
Teacher of the Year: Tommy Sharp, Golf Lab
Youth Player Development: Jake Wyatt, Gladstan
Assistant of the Year: Jon DeBoer, Tuhaye
Jon Unger Award: Brian Howes, Callaway
Merchandiser of the Year Private: Marty Bauer, Glenwild
Merchandiser of the Year Public: Lynn Landgren, Bonneville
Player Development Award: Bryant Boshard, The Ridge
Superintendent of the Year Public: Tracy Howard, Carbon Country Club
Superintendent of the Year Private: Paul Stokes, Logan Country Club
Think part Pied Piper. Part Eddie Murphy. Part Nick Faldo, minus the accent and, of course, the game.
ESPN reporter Michael Collins brought his entertaining
traveling road show to the 2019 PGA Jr. League Championship at Grayhawk Golf
Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, for an extended weekend.
Collins—who once did a popular piece online with phenom
Akshay Bhatia from the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris, where Bhatia (then a U.S.
Junior Ryder Cup Team Member) taught Collins how to do the “Orange Justice”
dance from Fortnite—is as genuine as it gets.
With a jovial personality, distinctive gray beard and hearty
laugh, you can’t help but fall for Collins’ shtick. And now he has a 11-year
old sidekick in Utah PGA Jr. Leaguer Warren Fisher, who is co-hosting hilarious
bits with Collins to air on November 3rd on ESPN2. Stay tuned.
Vaudeville would be proud.
“It was an absolute blast,” said Collins. “Yesterday was the
first day I met him. I was impressed the first time I shook hands. Demeanor,
knowledge, 11 years old, just a ball of energy.”
Whether it’s putting drills with Team North Carolina that
fall into Collins’ uncanny impromptu bravado or it’s joining in the
Championship’s Skills Challenge or serving as a serious on-course reporter,
Collins has as many options as a Swiss Army knife.
Meanwhile, Fisher, a now two-time PGA Jr. League
Championship Cub Reporter, serves as the ultimate complement, with an equally
cutting-edge sense of humor and over-the-top personality.
Harry Caray and Steve Stone. Jim Nantz and Tony Romo.
Michael Collins and Warren Fisher? It’s not too much of a reach, now, is it?
“Halfway through our day, I told Warren, ‘There’s a good
chance me and you will do some stuff in the future.’ He’s a lot of fun…He
definitely knows what he wants to do. Knowing and being good at it is hard to
do, but he definitely has both.
“He knows what he loves to do. He’s good at it. He’s
coachable—easy to work with and great at directional stuff. There’s adults not
as good, professionally. He’s one of those guys. Any time they want to ask me
if I want to work with Warren, just tell me where I need to be and what time.”
Fisher has his eyes set on the stars and the best-dressed
“I want to work in television and do some acting,
definitely,” proclaims the suave Fisher, who dresses in a Sunday-best, bow-tied
suit, and last year, declared that he also wanted to be President of the United
States. “Not any more. TV is where it’s at. For sure.”
“I knew just the way he was dressed this is going to be
fun,” explained Collins. “I’m jealous of his look. And how he can slurp down
all those milkshakes, too.”
Hollywood, here they come. Get their agent on the phone.
Tell them the PGA Jr. League Championship is calling.
The 8th PGA Jr. League Championship presented by National Car Rental is being held at Grayhawk Golf Club, Oct. 12-14. Twelve all-star teams from across America are competing for the national title. ESPN2 will televise a highlight show on Sun., Nov. 3, at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT. ESPN is the new broadcast network of the PGA Jr. League Championship presented by National Car Rental.
After numerous ballots Glenmoor Head Golf Professional Darci Dehlin-Olsen was elected to the Utah Section PGA Board and will fill the director position that Chad Pettingill has held the past three years. We are excited to have Darci join the Board and look forward to having a woman’s perspective as we continually look for ways to better serve our membership and grow the game of golf in Utah.
We would like to thank Todd Tanner, Chip Wesley and Michael Garrison for their willingness to serve the membership and making the selection process very difficult for our members. Four very qualified candidates looking to get involved and make a difference. We will definitely be asking each of them to serve on various committees and will look forward to them running for future Board positions as they become available.
Thanks to all those that voted and participated in this process and we hope everyone finishes off the season strong. We look forward to 2020 and many exciting things ahead!
The Utah Section PGA is excited to announce that Jared Barnes has been selected as the next District 9 Director representing the Utah Section PGA.
District 9 which includes Utah, Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Sections is 1 of 14 Districts represented on a national level with The Professional Golfers Association of America. District Directors are selected from past presidents that have served their sections in the past as an officer.
The Utah Section was extremely fortunate to have 4 strong candidates that offered to serve the Utah Section in this position. Jared Barnes, Colby Cowan, Chris Stover and Ryan Kartchner all stepped up and offered to once again serve the Utah PGA and the members. After going through the selection process with the Board of Directors Jared Barnes was selected as the next District 9 Director. All 4 candidates were extremely qualified and we thank them for their continued service to the Utah Section membership.
Jared served on a couple different national committees when he was Utah Section President and has a great reputation on a national level. We are excited to have Jared as our representative and will look forward to him making a difference for the members of the Utah PGA and District 9. Jared made this comment about his selection “I’m equal parts excited and humbled for this opportunity. I look forward to getting back to serving our section, district and our association.”
Good luck to Jared in this position and thank you for your willingness to serve the PGA.
Jordan Rodgers and Kelton Hirsch, former State Amateur winners with BYU ties, are two strokes out of the lead after the first round of the Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open at Riverside Country Club in Provo.